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Thread: GG1 ops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    nowhere famous, Minnesota, USA.
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    Default GG1 ops

    Did pennsy's GG1's ever pull freight trains?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    Yes. Old Rivets (#4800 I think) was permanently geared for freights. Several others were geared for freight (and regeared for passenger service...and regeared for freight...)

    Interesting story. When more than one GG1 was doubleheaded on a freight (as was common), the notches above 18 were locked out (GG1s have 22 throttle notches). This has nothing to do with the locomotives, but the current draw above notch 18 would overload some of the trackside substations!

    Gary

  3. #3
    Starlight Guest

    Default RE: GG1 ops

    Yeah, I also heard that Pensy NEVER did any manitainence on them. Odd that they'd have that but supposedly unless something big broke, they wouldn't fix it.


    On another note, It was confirmed a few months back that yes, one is still in working order. This GG1 believed to be slated to run on the NEC again.

    One rumor though that may be more likely, is that the loco will be sold to an amusement park which will have it running around the lot. Supposedly they hope to run cantary and use the original motors.



  4. #4
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    Nov 1999
    Location
    Philadelphia, Penna, USA.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    Yes, they did work in freight service.
    During the Second war they were used to pull freight trains, also Conrail used a few to pull freight.

    Cond Mike

  5. #5
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    Nov 1999
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    Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    GG1s won't run on the NEC again (except in MSTS of course! :7) It has something to do with the voltage in the catenary. From what I understand, the voltage was different north of NYC (on the New Haven line) which is why the GGs never really ran north of NYC. Its my understanding that the voltage was changed when the GGs were retired and its not "cost effective" to rewire the GG1s for service on the new voltage.

    Of course the frame cracks might also had something to do with the retirement of GG1s after close to 50 years.

    Also, from what I read, PRR didn't do much maintenance on the GG1s, because they didn't have to! They just ran and ran and ran!

    GH

  6. #6
    Starlight Guest

    Default RE: GG1 ops

    Actually, parts of the NEC still use the same cantary and voltage that the GG1's used.

    If you read the readme for the GG1, it tells in there that one was run as recently as last year. There's only one in working condition, a surprise to everyone.

    All the info came from various websites, one being a railroad museum. (I can't remember which museum has the most GG units...:P)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eltham, Australia.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    The main transformer has been removed from ALL GG1's due to the cooling being done with "pcb's"
    This substance is carcenogenic and not allowed to be near people.

    Until they can get a better cooling that with the old liquid, I was under the impression that they we all doomed.

    Derek


    >On another note, It was confirmed >a few months back that
    >yes, one is still in working order. This GG1
    >believed to be slated to run on the NEC again.

    Cheers
    Derek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    No kidding? One ran last year! Do you know where? I would have liked to have snapped a bunch of pics of that!

    Thanks for the update!
    GH

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Portville, NY, USA.
    Posts
    1,312

    Default RE: GG1 ops

    Yeah, they looked pretty good the Conrail Dress Blue scheme. I think CR even painted one in a bicentennial scheme, also.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA.
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    Default RE: GG1 ops

    OK, to add and correct some of the above comments. Yes, many GG1s were used in freight service. The only major change that had to me made to the GG1s for freight service was changing the brake air pressure. The air pressure is different for freight trains then passenger trains. The PRR later dedicated some GG1s around the mid 1950s for only freight service, notably the #4800 (Which by the way, pulled the last outbound passenger train from the old Broad Street Station in Philadelphia). These changes re-geared the GG1s and removed (blocked) the last few notches from the throttle.
    Conrail used many GG1s for freight service until 1983 when it abandoned using electric locomotives. The only GG1 painted Conrail blue was #4800, which also was painted the Bicentennial colors in 1976.

    If any GG1 ran in the last few years, it was because it was being pulled by another locomotive. As mentioned before, all the transformers were removed from the Gs because of the coolants containing pcbs. All old electric locos and EMUs that still run today like the NJT Arrows and SEPTA Silverliners, have all been overhauled and equipped with non-pcb electrical components.
    The Gs did run all the way to New Haven after the formation of the Penn Central very often. Amtrak did not change the voltage of the catenaries. It is still 25,000 volts AC. What they did change, and this is one of the major reasons why a G cannot use it, was the cycles in Hz. I forget what it used to be and what they changed it to; my guess would be 16 Hz to 25 Hz. It would not be cost effective to rebuild a GG1 with the necessary equipment need for it to run today. Even if they did get a GG1 to run it would basically be an AEM7 with a GG1 shell.

    The PRR Maintained the GG1s in top shape! They were worked on at the Wilmington shops regularly. In the PC years that they were neglected, but later, believe it or not, received some tender loved care from Amtrak (Who performed the maintenance for Conrail and NJT). The reason why they were retired was because of the frames cracking. In their old age, the frames could not be patched and still be considered safe. The only way to solve the problem would be to forge new frames from scratch; not cost effective for a 50 year old locomotive.

    Another note. It was not uncommon to see THREE GG1's pulling a fright in their final years. I'll try to find some pics for proof.

    Joe Hildenbrand
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